About the speaker: Richard Kemp has spent most of his life fighting terrorism and insurgency, commanding British troops on the front line of some of the world’s toughest hotspots, including Afghanistan, Iraq, the Balkans and Northern Ireland. He is now a writer, a prolific journalist, media commentator and motivational speaker. He provides strategic consultancy services on leadership, security, intelligence, counter-terrorism and defense.
Colonel Kemp has been a hero in the battle against the demonization of Israel. Kemp asked to be interviewed by the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (also known as the Goldstone Report), which was established by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) as an independent international fact-finding mission “to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by the occupying Power, Israel, against the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, due to the current aggression.” His request was rejected “because the report did not deal with the issues he raised regarding the problems of conducting military operations in civilian areas”.
Kemp publicly rejected the conclusions of the investigation, denying allegations that Israel engaged in war crimes and crimes against humanity. Kemp said: “Of course innocent civilians were killed. War is chaos and full of mistakes. There have been mistakes by the British, American and other forces in Afghanistan and in Iraq, many of which can be put down to human error. But mistakes are not war crimes…Based on my knowledge and experience, I can say this: during Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defense Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in the combat zones than any other army in the history of warfare.”
In the report of a June 2009 conference at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs Kemp also accused Hamas of deploying women and children as suicide attackers, and wrote that “Women and children are trained and equipped to fight, collect intelligence and ferry arms and ammunition between battles.”
Colonel Kemp was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), Military Division, on 25 April 1994 in recognition of his intelligence work in Northern Ireland in 1993, and was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery for service as a commander in the United Nations Protection Force in Bosnia in 1994. He was promoted Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), Military Division, in the New Year Honors 2006. He received an honorary doctorate from Bar-Ilan University in 2015.
Colonel Kemp is also a 2017 recipient of one of EMET’s coveted “Speaker of the Truth” Awards.
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